We started packing up for this trip in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Doing the normal pre trip checklist rundown. Much like hiking, so this was familiar. With a few curveballs. Namely, water.
How to Adventurize
I learned a few things during this 24 hour trip . Let me start by stating the obvious – water is heavy. By my calculations, I was carrying a total of about 10 liters total (hydration pack full in the Camelbak, rental Surly Ogre bike loaded to capacity with 3 standard caged water bottles, a 1.5 liter and a 1 gallon Crystal Geyser bottle!). Mainly because the riding route and campsite destination did not have a water source. With a possibilty of having 6 plus riders show up, I thought it was fair to assume a little extra would be appreciated. A necessary evil? To the experienced, this may seem like overkill (spoiler…it was!). To the uninitiated (i.e. ….me!), it was a challenge. First bikepacking trip ever, on a new bike to me, to a new destination to me. (total bike weight – 91lbs).
As we drove to the trailhead in the shadow of Mount Wilson, darkness ensued. Riding at night is not foreign to me. So we unloaded the bikes, turned our lights on, and let the fun Begin!
But right before we are ready to head out as if by some magical teleportation spell at the perfect moment, our 4th rider emerges from black of night. Hey Dan, good timing!
The route began with a gradual incline to an immediate increase in difficulty level. Mostly due to the lack of traction. Nothing but loose, sharp rocks covering the trail. Jagged walls to our right, sheer cliffs to our left. Game on!
We reach the end of the rock garden climb not soon enough as the trail peaks out. Smooth and winding fireroad all the way down to camp. The rig (and I) held up.
According to lore, our campsite was formerly a “hotel” in the 1940’s. What was the allure of an establishment in this steep and rugged mountainous area? Huh…. A hought to ponder. Anyway, time to setup camp. Also put some of that water to good use.
The evening’s meal consisted of the perfectly orchestrated ingredients for camping around a fire ring in the mountains. Large tortillas, chunks of steaks, grated cheese, and spanish rice. Yum.
Talk of previous adventures led to plans for the next trip. Good conversation had by all as one by one we start to trickle into our sleeping systems. Some even cowboy style. BRRRRR!
Awakening to the silence of the forest is very comforting. Follow that by coffee, oatmeal and hanging out with like minded folks by a morning campfire. Good times.
Our morning ride back consisted of a detour to Inspiration Point. Definitely worth it. Quite a view.